Hypnosis takes a certain amount of curiosity and open-minded thinking, and there are different schools of thought in the hypnosis field. While some believe there are people who cannot be hypnotized, I believe it is a myth.
Everyone is susceptible to hypnosis; the only difference is that there are those who have more or less ability to enter trance quickly.
The fact is, people are always going into and out of levels of trance all day long. Have you ever been reading a good book and the time just flew by? Have you ever been driving down the road and realized you weren’t aware of whether you’d reached your turn, or even that you’d passed it?
You were off daydreaming. Over-the-road truckers call this phenomena “white line hypnosis.”
If a child had run out in front of your car, you would stop although you weren’t totally aware of your surroundings.
This is the same brainwave state people using hypnosis go into, and the same relaxed state a hypnotherapist will lead you into.
All you need to do is relax and follow simple instructions, and allow their voice to have the same effect as the line in the road does. They will direct your attention to different things. You don’t have to try or not try or anything like that. You just have to relax.
As you go into lower brainwave states, you may feel a light, pleasant floating sensation. Some people remember everything that happens, others may have periods where they don’t remember. It’s okay either way because there is a part of you — apart from the part of you — that listens very closely.
That is the part that hears what you want it to hear or makes the necessary changes to your subconscious patterns. This state can be very relaxing. Often, time can become distorted during hypnosis, and what can feel like a half hour was actually only five minutes.
So how can you tell if hypnosis will work for you?
How To Know If Hypnosis Will Really Work For You
Here’s a simple test you can use to see if you have what it takes to enter trance states:
Read through the following paragraph before performing this simple experiment.
Start by sitting in a quiet, comfortable place with your legs uncrossed. Take a few breaths and allow yourself to just close the curtain on the day for this little bit. Scan your body for any areas of stress and imagine breathing comfort into them.
Now, hold your arms out in front at shoulder height like a sleepwalker. Notice they are even in front of you. Close your eyes and take a couple deeper, even breaths, and let them out slowly.
You’re going to imagine that someone is tying a helium balloon to your right hand, while simultaneously putting a heavy book on the left one.
Imagine you feel the balloon pulling up and the book pressing down. Now “add” another balloon to the right hand and another book to the left. Imagine the right hand getting lighter and lighter. The left getting heavier and heavier.
Continue “adding” balloons and books, slowly three times. Now open your eyes and look at your hands, are they the same height as when you started? Or is the right somewhat higher than the left? One inch, twelve inches, or more?
No matter what the difference may be, and even if they are still the same level, if you actually imagined the balloon and the book, you are curious enough and open-minded enough to go into a trancelike state.
A hypnotist will know many other ways to lead you into a trance state. It’s not a one size fits all thing.
They will probably lead you through an induction, a sort of story that will let you relax, then some deepeners, like counting down and suggesting you can be more deeply relaxed with each number, perhaps imagining going downstairs. At that point, the changes you want are made.
Hypnosis can help you see yourself or imagine yourself:
Satisfied with smaller portions when you eat.
Remaining calm when your partner has pushed one of your problem buttons.
Overcoming the thought of skipping your workout.
Noticing when you are stressed and taking some “time out“ breaths.
Feeling calm and confident talking to that new crush, or making that big presentation at work.
Whatever the case may be, if you can imagine it while in a relaxed state, it will seep into your working mind.
Each time you do it, you will become better at visualizing the results you want, and encouraged by the changes you see. All it takes is an open mind and the possibilities are endless for you to make the changes you’d like to see in your life.
Don Ross is a medical hypnotherapist in Sedona, AZ, and the author of Happy Hypnosis & The Twelve Steps. He has helped many people through his practice, including those who struggled to quit smoking, lose weight, or stop addictions from consuming their lives. If you’d like to see if hypnosis is for you, try a free 20-minute session at his website, HappyHypnosisSedona.com.